Teaching Revolution: Online, Accredited, Free; Start Learning Now!

By: Mike Shedlock | Sat, Mar 29, 2014
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One of the things I staunchly believe is that the cost of education will drop sharply. It has to. The current path of graduating student loan zombies is simply not sustainable.

Eventually, online education will be both inexpensive and accredited. In turn that will drive down costs at brick-and-mortar colleges.


MOOCS Pick Up Steam

The Financial Times reports Teaching Revolution Gathers Pace.

Regina Herzlinger is a bit of a superstar. She was the first woman to be a tenured professor at Harvard Business School, and is now leading its march into Moocs - massive open online courses - which promise to revolutionise the world of higher education.

Professor Herzlinger, whose 11-week course on Innovating in Healthcare will start this month, is an advocate of this model of free online education. "I believe Moocs can democratise education," she says. "It's fantastic to reach so many people."

Harvard, MIT Sloan, the University of Virginia's Darden school and several other big-brand US business schools are experimenting with Moocs. The Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania has gone so far as to put 10 per cent of its MBA core courses online for free access. Like Prof Herzlinger, Wharton's vice-dean of innovation Karl Ulrich believes the social impact of these programmes is a central reason for promoting Moocs. He cites the example of one Wharton Mooc that enrolled more than 130,000 students. "There's just a huge, huge take-up."

In Europe, business schools such as IE in Spain and Warwick in the UK have taught online MBA programmes alongside their highly ranked full-time programmes.

Now, top schools in the US, such as Kenan-Flagler at the University of North Carolina with its MBA@UNC, are validating the online mode of delivery.

Prof Anandalingam, formerly dean at the Smith school at the University of Maryland, says the technology is "state of the art compared with anything I have seen in the US. Students get a rich learning environment".


Khan Academy

Reader Philip writes ...

Mish,

I discovered your blog through the Khan Academy. Sal quotes you in some of the financial videos, and I have been a loyal daily reader ever since. I think his efforts are truly revolutionary in education-and thought it might be worth your time to create a link on your site or maybe do a posting or two so folks can get involved. His financial videos are top notch and cover most aspects of monetary policy, the federal reserve, banking, etc., but the real impact will be if he can truly affect change in the world education system. Read his book for more details on his plan for education reform-great stuff.

You hold a lot of eyeballs and influence, and any help you can direct to Sal and the Khan Academy, in my opinion, would be a direct extension of the values you promote.

Thanks! Keep up the great work,

Philip


It All Started With a 12-Year-Old Cousin

Phillip is talking about Salman Khan, the founder of the Khan Academy. The New York Times explains how Salman Khan Turned Family Tutoring Into Khan Academy.

In 2008, Salman Khan, then a young hedge-fund analyst with a master's in computer science from M.I.T., started the Khan Academy, offering free online courses mainly in the STEM subjects -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Today the free electronic schoolhouse reaches more than 10 million users around the world, with more than 5,000 courses, and the approach has been widely admired and copied. I spoke with Mr. Khan, 37, for more than two hours, in person and by telephone. What follows is a condensed and edited version of our conversations.

Q. How did the Kahn Academy begin?

A. In 2004, my 12-year-old cousin Nadia visited with my wife and me in Boston. She's from New Orleans, where I grew up.

It turned out Nadia was having trouble in math. She was getting tracked into a slower math class. I don't think she or her parents realized the repercussions if she'd stayed on the slower track. I said, "I want to work with you, if you are willing." When Nadia went home, we began tutoring by telephone.

Did you have background as a math educator?

No, though I've had a passion for math my whole life. It got me to M.I.T. and enabled me to get multiple degrees in math and engineering. Long story shortened: Nadia got through what she thought she couldn't. Soon word got around the family that "free tutoring" was going on, and I found myself working on the phone with about 15 cousins.

To make it manageable, I hacked together a website where my cousins could go to practice problems and I could suggest things for them to work on. When I'd tutor them over the telephone, I'd use Yahoo Doodle, a program that was part of Yahoo Messenger, so they could visualize the calculations on their computers while we talked.

The Internet videos started two years later when a friend asked, "How are you scaling your lessons?" I said, "I'm not." He said, "Why don't you make some videos of the tutorials and post them on YouTube?" I said, "That's a horrible idea. YouTube is for cats playing piano."

Still, I gave it try. Soon my cousins said they liked me more on YouTube than in person. They were really saying that they found my explanations more valuable when they could have them on demand and where no one would judge them. And soon many people who were not my cousins were watching. By 2008, I was reaching tens of thousands every month. ....


Start Learning Now!

The mission page of the Kahn Academy says "Start learning now. Completely free, forever".

Those are words sure to soothe any deflationist's heart, while striking fear into the hearts of central bankers and misguided inflationists who think prices "need" to go up.

For further discussion of who benefits from central bank sponsored inflation, here is my own free refresher course.

Sal, if you catch this drop me a note. I would like to chat.

For everyone in school, or with kids in school, do yourself a favor an check out the academy.

 


 

Mike Shedlock

Author: Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock / Mish
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

Mike Shedlock

Michael "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Visit http://www.sitkapacific.com/ to learn more about wealth management for investors seeking strong performance with low volatility.

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